Nitrate-rich leafy greens included in the diet is essential to overall health. Leafy greens contain natural amounts of nitrate which is important for function, particularly during exercise. A recent research study finds including nitrate supplements regularly can enhance sports performance.
University of Leuven Research
The research study conducted at University of Leuven includes twenty-seven (27) individuals who are moderately athletic. Each were given nitrate supplements before training sessions occurring three times per week. Sessions were conducted during normal oxygen levels as well as low oxygen levels.
As noted in the Frontiers in Physiology, after five weeks of sessions the fibers of muscles changed which resulted in the enhancement of the nitrate intake. Changes occurred during lower oxygen level sessions. According to Professor Hespel, this study is the first of its kind to demonstrate simple strategy which includes nutritional nitrate supplements proving physical change in muscle composition.
High Altitude Exercise
Athletes engaging in competitive sports are including high altitude exercise in their routine. This type of exercise requires more production of energy under lower levels of available oxygen. Adding nitrate supplement enhancements may boost performance in these situations.
More Research Needed
More research in this area is certainly needed. For athletes taking very high doses of nitrates, safety has not been fully established. Although, it is seen lower doses can have a positive change on the sports performance safely.
Clearly, this is only the beginning of inquiry in this area. Professor Hespel recommends additional research on adding nitrate-rich foods to the diet on a regular basis. Studying the long-term effects of the dietary change is highly encouraged.
Dr. Colbert recommends his Fermented Sports Supremefood that is formulated with 10 fermented vegetables and 4 fermented grasses for athletes. For more information on Dr. Colbert’s Fermented Sports Supremefood, click here.
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